1) Define "polyamory" in a sentence or phrase.
The state of or ability to love more than one person at a time and be completely honest about it. Usually, but not necessarily, focusing on romantic love. (You said one sentence and I did it in two. I kept it as short as possible; I'd prefer a paragraph or two.)
2) Give us a quick snapshot of yourself. Whatever you want to share in a few sentences, including whether or not you ID as poly.
Male, straight. Late 20's. College student. When I grow up, I want to be a relationship counselor so I'm studying psychology. And yes, I do identify as poly.
3) How many partners/lovers do you currently have if any? Tell us their names/pseudonyms and one or two things about them, including their role in your life (occasional fuckbuddy, spouse, romantic-but-not-sexual LDR, etc) and whether or not they have any contact or relationship with each other. Have you ever had more partners at a time than you have now?
It depends on what a "partner/lover" is, exactly. As far as a "typical" girlfriend, I do not currently have one of those. My relationships have been more ambiguous as of late.
The one girl, who I have referred to as Rachael here, I met during Spring Break last year. It started out as casual sex, and we started to become friends over the week I spent with her. We've since fallen in love with each other, but we haven't made any agreements about being more than friends. It's long-distance, I haven't seen her since the week we spent together over a year ago, but we talk fairly frequently. She's making plans to visit me in a few months, which I'm happy about because I really miss her.
There's another girl where things are even less clear. I haven't talked about her before, so I haven't given her a pseudonym yet. Hmm... I'll call her "Michelle." "Romantic but not sexual" may apply, or maybe "loving but not romantic or sexual." We're still figuring that out. Her and I have mutual friends on Facebook, and she thought I seemed interesting from the comments I leave on people's posts. I met her last summer when I was in the mood for a spontaneous 9-hour drive, which she agreed to, surprisingly. I spent a few days with her and never got along with someone so well. She's not too thrilled about the polyamory thing but she's trying to be open-minded about it. She said something like "The idea appeals to me, but it's going to take a long time before I know if it's something I can do, and to get used to it."
4) Do you have an "ideal" poly configuration? If so, what is it? If not, why not (haven't figured it out yet, don't believe in "ideal configurations", etc.)?
I used to think a quad sounded like fun, but I've since decided that "I want to be in a quad" isn't a good enough reason to do it. I really have no preference; and prefer to let relationships form naturally than try to force them into specific formats. Hence the ambiguity in question 3.
5) Are you out about the role of poly in your life all of the time, some of the time, or none of the time? If some of the time, when? Are you satisfied with your level of outness?
I'm pretty open about who I am in general. Most of my friends and family know that I'm polyamorous. Usually, I mention it when it makes sense in conversations.
6) Do you think that some ways of having relationships are inherently better or worse than others (poly vs mono, heirarchical poly vs egalitarian poly, etc)? If so, why?
In an objective sense, no. It depends on the individuals involved and what they want for themselves. I try to find a balance between what works for me and what works for those I'm involved with.
7) What are the best things about poly to you? What are the worst things?
Best: Problems in relationships seem more evident with poly, and it's easier to identify and then deal with them. Also, poly necessitates more open communication. In my experience, it's much easier to ignore problems in mono relationships. I've had a saying recently: "With monogamy, communication is the difference between a good relationship and a bad one. With polyamory, communication is the difference between good relationships and complete fucking disaster."
Worst: Most people are mono. Also, the women I date seem to have pretty horrible taste in men (I like to think I'm the exception, but I'm not an unbiased source on the subject), and it always seems like there's an ex-boyfriend/husband, metamour, or someone with a crush trying to undermine my relationships.
8) Could you ever see yourself being happily monogamous?
I wouldn't say it's impossible. However, if I am ever happily monogamous, it will most likely be a result of circumstance rather than a conscious decision. I like to remain open to all possibilities.
9) Would you recommend poly to others who may not have considered it? How about to your kids if you have any now or ever end up having any?
If I think poly would suit them. It's not for everyone, but most like is for may more people than have thought about or experienced it. I'm all about helping people on the road to self-discovery.
10) Free space! Either leave blank or write anything else you want to say or anything you want to ask future quiz-takers!
Well... um... I've got nothing.